Is your child a 'trophy kid?' Do they receive participation awards just for showing up? Our guest today says 'you're doing it wrong.' In their bestselling book, NurtureShock, Ashley Merryman and co-author Po Bronson say that much of the conventional wisdom about parenting is backfiring. They argue that the so-called 'self-esteem movement' has gone too far and while it can be valuable, too much praise can actually hurt children. Meaningless, undeserved praise produces kids who don’t try hard enough, give up easier, take less risks, and simply collapse when they fail. Using a research-based, scientific approach to parenting, they argue that kids actually need to lose in order to grow and that we must stop letting "The Trophy-Industrial Complex" run our children's lives. Whether you're a helicopter parent or a recovering trophy kid yourself, join us.

As a first-time mother there are many joys and challenges. One needs to budget for the baby’s needs and handle the emotional and psychological changes that come with child bearing. But what about first-time mothers who don’t know how to construct a budget or where to turn when the emotional toll is too great? Those challenges, if unaddressed, can manifest into child neglect or abuse – or worse. But some first-time mothers can turn to the Nurse Family Partnership – a program designed for nurses and first-time moms to work side-by-side for the first two years of the child’s life. This evidence-based program is sweeping the nation and helping dozens of moms and children thrive here in the Queen City. We learn about evidence-based programming and what the Nurse Family Partnership is doing.

The importance of the father in a child's life has always been known but UNC Charlotte Professor Dr. Jeffrey Shears set out to understand the exact impact a father can have on his children. He found some fascinating results as well as some sobering news. Dr. Shears recently completed a summit on fatherhood. He and other panel members share what they learned about a dad's impact on family as well as some practical ideas on what local, state and federal authorities can do to improve fatherhood when Charlotte Talks.


Plenty of older adults talk about the good old days when kids ran free, sometimes ranging through their neighborhoods or towns without their parents even knowing where they were. The trend reversed in recent times with the rise of Helicopter parents hovering over their child's every move and limiting their independence. Lenore Skenazy rejected that trend and she made headlines when she allowed her 9 year old son to ride a NYC subway alone. She forged the popularity into a bully pulpit to advance the idea of "free range kids." Her reality show, The World's Worst Mom, irony intended, explores modern parenting. We will too when Charlotte Talks.

Parenthood is confusing as it is but many men are surprised at what a difficult transition it can be from the sports watching, beer drinking, freewheeling days of bachelorhood to 3 a.m. feedings, diaper changing and how in the world to handle a baby with colic. While many little girls play with dolls and young women dream of raising a family, men often don't think about kids until they have them. Barry Ozer and Richard Jones found themselves as a couple of dudes with kids but no instruction manual. So, through trial and error, love and laughs, they wrote one called A Dude's Guide to Babies. They chronicle the travails of fatherhood and they've already started work on books about kids of all ages. We'll meet them when Charlotte Talks.

Entering Middle School

Aug 8, 2012

It’s no secret that something changes when kids enter Middle School. Developmentally, emotionally and socially, middle school is where some kids really struggle, and the changes in their bodies and socially can affect their grades, their relationships with friends and with their parents. We’ll be joined by a panel of experts who have been helping middle schoolers -  and their parents - navigate the waters of middle school, and hear from you, too, when Charlotte Talks.